Force10 Networks Announces New Z-Series ZettaScale Core Switching Systems for Cloud and Conventional Data Centers


Force10 Networks, Inc., the leader in high-performance data center networking, today announced its new Z-Series ZettaScale core switches, a generational technology leap in density and performance in the core of data center networks. A key part of Force10's new Open Cloud Networking framework, the new Z-Series switches offer a choice between centralized and distributed core infrastructure.

* The new Z9000 distributed core switch is available in one of the smallest, greenest, densest footprints with disruptive price/performance ever introduced. It delivers unprecedented scalability and performance in an ultra-small form factor at as little as one fifth the price of competing products.
* For conventional data centers, the new Z9512 chassis-based switch delivers high density and switching capacity in a half-rack unit. This new switch delivers 9.6 Terabits of switching capacity, ensuring ample capacity for even large centralized data center designs.

The new Z-Series ZettaScale switches will fundamentally change the way data centers are built by making it possible to build data centers of all kinds with higher performance and a much lower total cost of ownership than previously imagined.

Z9000--Enabling Open Distributed Core Fabrics

Data center owners and operators building large and small facilities are tasked with creating faster, more scalable data centers while continually addressing the need for lower power and space consumption. New applications and traffic patterns--moving from north/south to east/west traffic--are driving the need for new core architectures. There is also a trend toward "containerized" data center cores, where cloud data centers are geographically distributed. The new Z9000 switch supports these trends by delivering unprecedented levels of performance and scalability in a new, smaller form factor.

Featuring a 2.5 Tbps switching capacity, the Z9000 offers unprecedented levels of performance and scalability. The Z9000 is also purpose-built for use in a leaf-and-spine architecture, where it can scale from 2 to 160 Terabits in a distributed core architecture with latency as low as 3 microseconds. At 800 Watts, the Z9000 consumes 1/20th the power of competitive products, and is the greenest 10/40 core GbE switch.

"As organizations move their data centers to meet increasing business challenges, they need to evolve their infrastructure in a way that positions IT to create a dynamic, scalable and agile data center," said Lucinda Borovick, vice president, enterprise communications infrastructure and data center networks at IDC. "By offering 128 10 GbE ports in a space-efficient form factor, Force10 is enabling customers to transition to an energy-efficient, operationally-efficient data center. The Z9000 provides the flexibility and scalability necessary to tackle the business challenges which lie ahead."

In a distributed architecture, the Z9000 enables a true "Plug and Play" fabric – any of the switches can be taken out of service without bringing down the core network.

"Our rapidly growing user base requires us to use distributed core architectures to scale capacity quickly and non-disruptively," said Jeremy Stinson, vice president of network operations at "The Z9000 is ideal for this purpose because it gives us massive scalability at a very reasonable price."

Z9512--Raising the Bar for Chassis-Based Core

For more conventional data center cores, Force10's new Z9512 is a chassis-based switch that offers 480 line-rate, non-blocking 10GbE ports, 96 line-rate, non-blocking 40 GbE ports, and 48 line-rate, non-blocking 100 GbE ports in a 19RU form factor.

At 9.6 Tbps switching capacity and an initial 400 Gbps per-slot switching capacity (four times the slot capacity of other switches), sub-5 microsecond latency and an 8-Gigabyte packet buffer for each of its 12 line cards, the Z9512 delivers industry-leading performance in a centralized core switch.

These features make the Z9512 ideal for centralized data center cores, aggregation of flat Layer 2 topologies, or aggregation of hierarchical Layer 3 topologies as well as for multi-service deployments incorporating Gigabit Ethernet, 10 GbE, 40 GbE, and 100 GbE.

Like other Force10 switches, the Z9000 and Z9512 leverage the FTOS Force10 Operating System, a mature and modular operating system software with feature-rich Ethernet, IPv4, IPv6, and MPLS protocols to deliver best-in-class resiliency and scalability. In addition, both products support Force10's Open Automation and Virtualization Framework, which incorporates automated provisioning and scripting and enables the switches to communicate with virtual machines inside virtualized servers.

"Data center operators need new ways to accommodate changing traffic demands, and one type of product doesn't meet all needs," said Arpit Joshipura, chief marketing officer at Force10. "The Z-Series products allow customers to design architectures their own way and to build faster facilities at unprecedented prices."

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